The psalmist exclaims: “Truly, you have formed my inmost being/you knit me in my mother’s womb./I give thanks that I am fearfully, wonderfully made.” The development of the human brain is a critical part of this process of being “wonderfully made” and parents and others contribute to the work the Lord has initiated.
Sadly, impoverished circumstances can have an adverse effect on the development of the brain in the unborn, infants and toddlers. The actual architecture of the brain can be altered for the worse. For example, a number of studies have found that poverty in early childhood was associated with smaller amounts of white and gray matter in the brain. Several years ago, the MCC addressed this issue in a Messenger. Read “Building Baby’s Brain One Story at a Time.”
As one contemplates how the brain develops from conception and on into toddlerhood, it becomes clear how false a division it is to divide the concerns of the born and unborn, as too often is done in the political arena. For cognitive scientists, medical professionals and just plain observant people, the process of human development is seamless and ongoing. As should our concerns for human life.